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Workers reject Makro offer

THE 71 workers dismissed by Silverlakes Makro store in Pretoria want their jobs back and have refused compensation from the company.

Makro has offered them six months' salary, but they remain defiant and say they want to be taken back.

Their woes started after a wage strike last year. A wage agreement was signed by the company and the SA Commercial and Allied Workers Union.

It was agreed that the 40-hour week in the store would revert to a 45-hour week.

Mthetho Jobela, who had worked for the company for over 10 years, said: "That means we were not obliged to work on a Sunday. Working on a Sunday is regarded as overtime. It was agreed that an employee can work on a Sunday only when that was pre-arranged with a supervisor."

Three weeks after the agreement, most of the staff members at the store did not turn up for work on a Sunday.

The 71 workers, who include cashiers, sales staff, dispatch and receiving staff, were charged with insubordination and dismissed.

Another former employee, Bongani Sokufa, said: "The CCMA ruled in our favour and instructed that we go back to work, but Makro would have none of that."

At least four commissioners had so far been negotiating with Makro, which is owned by Massmart Holdings.

Brian Leroni, Massmart's corporate affairs executive, said: "Please, note that the CCMA case regarding the workers is still pending.

"A new date for continuation of the hearing has been set by the CCMA for January 2011."

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